Finally. FINALLY! The first legal adult-use cannabis retail dispensary has opened in New York State. The first sale occurred at Housing Works Cannabis Co, which is owned by Housing Works, on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Housing Works is the largest minority-controlled HIV/AIDS service organization and the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service organization in the United States. The organization provides services and support for people in New York City who are living with HIV/AIDS, are homeless, formerly incarcerated, and justice-involved individuals.

Opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in New York
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 29: (L-R) Executive Director of the NY State of Office of Cannabis Chris Alexander, NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine seen during the first purchase of cannabis products following a press conference at the opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the first recreational cannabis dispensary in New York on December 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)
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The honor of making the very first purchase was given to Chris Alexander (pictured above), the Executive Director of New York's Office of Cannabis Management, at 4:20 pm. Alexander is a former advocate who was pivotal in creating the bill that legalized cannabis in New York.

Housing Works Cannabis Co is located at 750 Broadway in Manhattan. It will be open seven days a week from 11 am to 7 pm. More dispensaries should be opening around the state after the Cannabis Control Board issued the first 36 adult-use retail licenses on November 21.

You can take a look at more pictures from the opening event below.

Marijuana Retail Licenses In Buffalo Will Be Delayed Due To Lawsuit

While the opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co is good news for cannabis consumers in the NYC area, there's bad news for consumers in other regions of the state. A lawsuit is preventing certain regions from receiving licenses. On Thursday, November 10, a judge blocked 63 licenses from being awarded in five regions around New York State.

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Due to the lawsuit, almost half of the initial 150 dispensary licenses can't be distributed. The lawsuit in question affects 5 other regions - Western New York, Brooklyn, Finger Lakes, Central NY, and Mid-Hudson. The suit was filed by a Michigan man named Kenneth Gay who claims that he should be able to receive a license to open a dispensary in New York State.

Michigan Resident Files Lawsuit To Stop New York State From Giving Cannabis Licenses To New Yorkers

Michigan-based Variscite NY One, Inc. filed the lawsuit to stop the Office of Cannabis Management from issuing Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses in the regions. Variscite claims that the Office of Cannabis Management’s dispensary license application program violates the United States Constitution because it doesn't allow out-of-state operators in the first rounds. The company only recently filed for its New York Domestic Business Corporation on August 31, 2022. Prior to August 31, Variscite has no history of doing any business in the state.

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Grand Opening Of Housing Works Cannabis Co In Manhattan

Opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in New York
Getty Images for Housing Works
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Opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in New York
Getty Images for Housing Works
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Opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in New York
Getty Images for Housing Works
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Opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in New York
Getty Images for Housing Works
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